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Louisville Balances Football with Social Advocacy

Cardinals opt to practice despite postponement of NBA and MLB games, cancellation of NFL and college practices

There wasn’t a debate between coaches and players if Louisville football should practice today, Aug. 27.

As NBA, MLB, NFL and college teams postponed games and practices to protest racial inequality and social injustices, including in-state programs Kentucky & Western Kentucky, Louisville opted to practice.

The team held multiple meetings to continue the dialogue of racial inequality as well as a players-only meeting, but practice went on as usual.

Louisville head coach Scott Satterfield said players wanted to practice in preparation for the season opener against Western Kentucky (WKU) Sept. 12.

“I don’t think there was a thought about not practicing,” Louisville head coach Scott Satterfield said. “These guys love playing and competing, but they also want to be heard. We talked all through this. We said we could do all of this. We can practice hard, we can play hard, we can also go make a change in our community. It’s not like you can do one or the other.”

Senior linebacker C.J. Avery said there wasn’t much of a discussion between players to cancel practice because they wanted to get better on the football field as a team.

Avery admitted its hard to balance focus as a football player and be an advocate for social justice, but he believes members of the team can do both.

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“We are aware of all the things that are going on in the world, it’s just a balance of doing what you have to do and what you have to focus on as well,” Avery said. “We want to be a part of the change. If we aren’t doing anything to be a part of the change then we are staying the same.”

Louisville won’t ignore issues in the coming days and weeks as it prepares for the season.

Satterfield wants coaches and players to have an open dialogue that started in May. He tweeted a photo of the team standing behind a white board that reads “We stand for Black Lives Matter and all those affected by social injustice” earlier this evening.

The team has plans to continue its discussion within the community as it balances football and social advocacy.

“We are going to sit down here in the next few days to be able to do all of it,” Satterfield said. “They want to play at a high level and they also want to make an impact in our community in the right way as well.”

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